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Wednesday, 30 November 1983
Page: 3051


Mr MacKELLAR —My question is directed to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and I refer him to newspaper reports of interviews that he gave following his recent return from a trip to South East Asia. The Minister is reported as saying:

There won't be any solution unless some arrangement is put in place which ensures that Pol Pot and his henchmen are disarmed.

The Minister was talking about the Vietnamese withdrawal from Kampuchea. I ask the Minister: Firstly, is it his view that this disarmament is a necessary precondition before Vietnam will remove its forces from Kampuchea? Secondly, what are the arrangements which must be put in place before Vietnam will remove its forces from Laos?


Mr Hodgman —Hear, hear! A good question.


Mr HAYDEN —I do not think it is so good. First of all, there are no problems about the Vietnamese troops being in Laos. There is no dispute that I am aware of in any part of the region in connection with that.


Mr Anthony —No problems?


Mr HAYDEN —They are there by invitation of the Government of Laos. The honourable member is introducing a new dimension.

Opposition members interjecting-


Mr HAYDEN —I am sorry, I was distracted looking at the people opposite me. The troops are there by invitation of the Government of Laos. That is accepted by the governments of the region. If it is the policy of members of the Opposition to initiate this novelty that the Opposition in government, in the future, alone in the region, intends to confront the Government of Laos. That is their right. All they have to do is declare it publicly in detail and then to undertake the exercise of obtaining support. We leave them to have a monopoly on that little fiction.

In relation to the matter of the disarmament of the Pol Pot forces, I said that Pol Pot and his henchmen would have to be disarmed and there would have to be guarantees that they could not make an incursion into Kampuchea before there is any chance of the Vietnamese forces withdrawing. I should have thought that that is common sense. That view is shared by our Association of South East Asian Nation partners. It is a precondition, certainly, but it is not the exclusive precondition for a settlement of the situation in Kampuchea. If the honourable member wants to rewrite history or the principles of the situation there, that is his entitlement. I think it will go to the humour pages of the Bulletin rather than the serious pages.